Wednesday, June 22, 2016

enjoying the outdoors

In April I stopped by a state park and found out that this year is the 125th anniversary of Minnesota State Parks.  To commemorate that, the parks have created a program to encourage using the trails.  Individuals can try to bike, boat, or hike 125 miles in state parks or state trails this year.  So far I am at 15 miles, all hiking.  I hope to do some biking and canoeing, too.  So far, I have been to some of the closer parks...Charles Lindbergh, Lake Carlos, and Sibley.  I hope to get to Fort Snelling, Lake Itasca, Lake Maria, and Crow Wing parks soon.  Click here to see more information about the program.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Whose Hands Are These?

Whose Hands Are These? by Miranda Paul is a new book I got from the library this week.  It is a book that I think most preschoolers or early elementary children would enjoy.  There are pictures and descriptions of 11 different jobs.  Children can listen to the words and look at the pictures to try to guess which job is being described.  I plan to remember this book and share it with my kindergarten and first grade students next year.  It reminds me some of Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do, but has a higher level vocabulary. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

artist trading cards

A few years ago, I read an article about artist trading cards.  They are mini works of art.  On the back, you can write your name and the date.  The cards are a way to show and trade your art.  This is an activity I do some with my nieces and nephews.  If you want to make your own cards, or get started on it with your children, all you need is two and a half inch by three and a half inch pieces of cardstock and some markers, crayons or colored pencils.  I cut my own, but you can also buy pre-cut cards at art stores.  This could be an unending summer project for your kids, or a fun activity to sit down and do as a family from time to time.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Water from my Heart

Water from my Heart by Charles Martin is the book I read this week instead of sewing, sleeping, and gardening.  Charlie Finn is living an easy life in Bimini when everything changes.  He is catapulted into a situation where he wants to help his good friend's son, but it isn't easy.  Along the way, Charlie ends up in Nicaragua where things from his past show up in the lives of people he has begun to care for.  This story of love and redemption is worth reading if you can put up with a somewhat lengthy introduction.  There are plenty of themes in this book worth discussing with a friend or a group.  Like many of his other books, it would likely make a good movie as well.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


There are all kinds of things to celebrate about spring in Minnesota.

Buttercups in wet places...

 rhubarb from Dad's house,

tulips blooming,

 the butterflies have returned,

and fresh asparagus from my brother.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vivofit 2

Several weeks ago I got a Vivofit 2 through a wellness program at school.  Since I walk to and from school most days, I was curious about what kind of numbers I would get on it.  The days I do walk to and from school, I get about 12,000 steps in a day.  Right now I am at over that already, and there is still more walking on the agenda.  Do you have an step tracker?  What is your average?